Table tennis legends Abena Pokua and Patricia Ofei
Table tennis legends Abena Pokua and Patricia Ofei

The African Games – Down memory lane, Nairobi 1987

It’s a huge responsibility hosting the African Games no wonder it took nine years after the third Games in Algiers 1978 for the fourth Games to take place. And this was in Nairobi, Kenya, 1987.


As it’s customary, Ghana was fully represented at the Nairobi Games this time competing in seven events namely athletics, table tennis, tennis, boxing, hockey, volleyball (women) and taekwondo (demonstration).

As the nation readies herself to host the next Games, the 13th in the series, early next month I would like to continue taking sports enthusiasts on a memory lane. This time to the 1987 Games in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Although taekwondo was then relatively new in Ghana with a little following, the four man team returned home with one gold and two silver medals. The rather surprise earnings in taekwondo at the Games boosted Ghana’s modest honours in Nairobi to three golds, seven silver and one bronze medal.

Athletics earned the other gold which also turned out to be a record in triple jump 17.12metres by Francis Dodoo.

The medals and their disciplines are one gold (record) four silver and one bronze in athletics B, Table tennis one gold and one silver.

Taekwondo one gold and two silver.

The other disciplines boxing hockey (men) volleyball (women) and tennis (men) returned home empty handed.

Detailed medal winners are Athletics, Francis Dodoo, triple jump 17.12 m gold (record)

2. Myles Mills 200m 20.94 secs silver.

3. Eric Akogyeram 100m 10,32 secs silver

4. Dina Yankey 200m hurdles 13.73secs silver

5. Mercy Addy, Cynthia Quartey, Martha Appiah, Dina Yankey 4x100m silver.


1. Pattucia Ofei/Patience Opokua women’s doubles gold.

2. Patricia Ofei women’s singles silver.

Patricia and Abena beat Senegal 3-0, Egypt 3-0 and Somalia 3-2 to win the gold.

The men’s team pulled out. Asare Ameyaw was the only player. In a sensational move, Coach E.A Quaye and well known sports journalist Kwabena Yeboah formed a makeshift team beating Angola 5-1 before pulling out.


Ghana lost to Egypt 4-0, thrashed Zambia 7-1, beat Tanzania 5-2 and lost to Zimbabwe 2-1


Ghana were beaten 15-7 14′-16 ,15′-9 , 15-4 by Mauritius to place 4th


1. Kodjo Atiso was eliminated by Paul Wekese of Kenya 6-3,2-6, 3-6.

2. Eric Dowuona lost to Eno Paul also of Kenya 6-2,6-0.

3. Sampson

Ahinakwa beat Ramonous Nzwewe of Nigetia 7-6, 6-7 6-4 but crashed out of the singles losing 6-3, 6-3 to Bhareusaj of Kenya

4. In the doubles, Atiso/Nortey Dowuona beat Cameroun’s Ataga/imuogo 6-3 6-3

5.Ahinakwa/Eric Dowuona lost to Cote D’Ivoire’s Ngoran/-Koussi 6-3,7-6.


Three boxers won their preliminaries but could not reach the medal zone. Lightwelterweight Alfred Ankamah won two fights beating Essien of Cameroun and Solomon Khandowe of Malawi: Lightweight Ashia Laryea beat Traore Oussene of Burkina Faso and middleweight Ibole Issaka knocked out Michole Morrousei of Lesotho.

Ace sprinter Leo Myles Mills

Asia Laryea later on pulled out of the tourney because of a hand injury. All the others lost.

Flyweight Alfred Kotey lost to Mwangi of Kenya: bantamweight Sowah Thompson lost to Sirga of Uganda, light flyweight Dan Copson was beaten by Nsuduga of Uganda, lightheavyweight Kofi Quaye lost to Joseph Mulenga of Uganda and lightweight Ike Quartey lost to Paul Wangeri of Kenya.

TAEKWONDO medallists

1. Anthony Amoo Mensah flyweight gold.

2. Michael Amenu bantamweight silver

3. Felix Ayensu featherweight silver.

At this stage Ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to announce that all is set for the big sports extravaganza starting in Accra two days after the 57th Independence Day anniversary celebrations.

On Tuesday President Nana Akufo-Addo a devout sports enthusiast, officially commissioned the Borteyman sports complex in Accra to signal the countdown to the 13th African Games. The nation can from now rest assured that “all systems are go” and West Africa is going to host another big sports festival following the highly successful AFCON 23 in Cote D’Ivoire.

Eric Akogyeram - top sprinter

At the time of writing this article countries that have firmly confirmed their participation are Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, The Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cameroun, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo Republic.

The rest are Comoros, Djibouti Eritrea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Rwanda Tanzania, Angola Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

What a great sports carnival this promises to be.

It is hoped we shall all contribute in our own small way to make the occasion pleasurable

Cheers everybody and keep loving sports.

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